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Promoter Golden Boy splits with Cuban heavyweight Luis Ortiz

Promoter Golden Boy splits with Cuban heavyweight Luis Ortiz
Luis Ortiz knocks down Matias Ariel Vidondo on Oct. 17. (Al Bello / Getty Images)

Unbeaten veteran Cuban heavyweight Luis Ortiz and his promoter, Golden Boy, struck a seven-figure settlement to split, freeing the fighter to pursue bouts in Al Haymon's Premier Boxing Champions.

Golden Boy announced the parting Tuesday, as Ortiz's co-promoter, Florida-based Dade Promotions, retains the fighter who's 25-0 with 22 knockouts and headed to an Oct. 7 fight in Russia against Alexander Ustinov for a World Boxing Assn. title.

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"Just didn't see eye to eye," Golden Boy executive Eric Gomez told The Times. "We had a different philosophy. We parted ways."

Golden Boy wanted Ortiz-Ustinov to be the co-main event to the Sept. 17 Canelo Alvarez-Liam Smith main event on HBO pay-per-view. Ortiz pressed for more money, but Golden Boy contended the purse was more than generous, officials close to the talks said.

That prompted settlement talks after Golden Boy had placed Ortiz on three consecutive HBO cards and invested in an exploratory trip looking into bringing him back to Cuba for a homecoming bout.

"We wish him the best, and hopefully he gets whatever it is he's looking for," Gomez said. "You don't want to lose that type of fighter. We're not in the business of doing that, but, look, but we got to the point where we could amicably settle."

Ortiz, 37, is positioned to emerge as a key player in the revived heavyweight division, which includes unbeaten World Boxing Council champion Deontay Wilder, unbeaten International Boxing Federation champion Anthony Joshua of England, and the winner of November's Tyson Fury-Wladimir Klitschko rematch.

Asked if there is interest in Ortiz from Premier Boxing Champions, spokesman Tim Smith told The Times,  "If there's a fight that makes sense, sure."

Officials from Showtime, which televises Wilder and Joshua bouts, did not immediately return messages on the matter Wednesday. Ortiz's camp could not be immediately reached for comment.

Gomez expressed optimism about his group of fighters. He noted how strong Alvarez looks in training camp in San Diego, and said he is excited that pay-per-view will showcase rising young Golden Boy talent Diego de la Hoya (Oscar's cousin) and unbeaten South El Monte featherweight Joseph Diaz Jr. at AT&T Stadium outside Dallas.

"Right now, tickets [starting at $40] are selling at a pace better than both of the [Manny] Pacquiao fights that were held there," Gomez said.

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